Sunday, December 18, 2005

Portis likely to transfer to Maryland

If you read my previous column you can imagine I'm not doing any cartwheels over this pickup. Portis is more along the lines of the "typical" Fridge quarterback: he can throw and run with equal ability, but I'm not going to predict he'll be the next Joe Hamilton. He was a highly rated quarterback out of high school, having been considered the 4th best "dual threat" QB by, but this is now his third college choice if he come to Maryland. He backed out of a commitment to Utah when Urban Meyer left for Florida and now has quit on the Gators and Meyer. This is not a good sign. He had 81 yards passing in limited mop up duty for the Gators this past season so we really don't know what were going to be getting in 2007, when he'll be cleared to play after sitting out next season due to transfer rules. Hopefully by then Portis will have grown up a little and stop letting his meddling mother run his life.

The 2007 QB situation just got even more crowded. Now Jordan Steffy, Chris Turner, Jeremy Ricker and Portis will fight it out for the starting job in '07. Unless Steffy wins the offseason QB competition this year none of those players will have significant experience. Friedgen has been unable to develop his own quarterback since he has come to Maryland. Joel Statham was a failure, Jordan Steffy hasn't show much promise even when he's healthy which isn't often, and it appears the coach is about ready to throw Sam Hollenbach overboard too. I think that would be a mistake, but we'll see.

Recruit Update

Class of 2007 shooting guard Jeff Jones, who committed to Maryland last month, poured in 34 points in a win over Archbishop Wood the other day. This kid can flat out score folks. He was a great pickup for the '07 class and will be a top 50 player when the final rankings come out.

Class of 2006 commits Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes also both played at Potomac high school the other day, Milbourne for Oak Hill and Hayes for the home school. Hayes scored 19 in an upset win over Baltimore's McDonogh high and Hoya commit DaJuan Summers. Hayes nailed three out of four free throws to ice the game in a 55-54 victory.

Milbourne's Oak Hill crushed an overmatched Herndon high 106-74. Milbourne is showing some very nice shooting range that he didn't have last season.


irwin robinson said...

why not give Portis the benefit of a delay in prejudgement,many Q backs have moved on because of lack of opportunity......I do love your site keep it up.

Esquire said...

I'm not saying Portis won't be a good quarterback for Maryland, he may be or he may not be, but his comments in the press do leave me a little worried about how he will effect team chemistry. To say that Portis is a little cocky would be an understatement. For a quarterback who hasn't really proven anything he sounds very sure of himself.

Portis said in the media: "It don't matter what quarterbacks they've got up there, I can compete with anybody, I think everybody's in for entertainment."

You have to wonder if Florida getting a commitment from Tim Tebow, considered by many to be one of the top QB recruit this year, didn't factor into Portis' decision to bail on Urban Meyer. Chris Leak would be a senior next season, if he stays for another year, so you would assume Portis would be taking over in 2007 at the latest.

Nothing wrong with a player trying to put himself in a better position to succeed, but when you believe you're as good as Portis does it seems odd to run from a challenge. I feel he looked at Maryland's roster and assumes he'll be starting after his transfer year. Given his history and his mother's conduct things could sour very quickly if he isn't the starter in the spring of '07.

In 2007 he'll be in his third season out of high school with a grand total of 11 pass attempts. I just wouldn't expect a whole lot from him.
This is a true high risk, high reward move by Fridge.

Moe Greene said...

I don't see the "risk". Worst case scenario...

Steffy, Ricker, and Turner all fail at separating themselves from the pack in 2006. Portis comes in to "save the day" in 2007. Portis fails, too. We then go back to someone else that is unproductive. What's the difference between three unproductive QB's than four? What do we have to lose? How can the backup-4th string QB really affect team chemistry, that much. It's not like we gave up Sam Hollenbach and a 2008 first round draft pick. So what if his mother is Norman Bates? At the end of the day, I don't believe one bad apple can spoil a collegiate team like one (T.O.) can in the NFL...

Esquire said...

For 2006 you have to assume at this point that Sam Hollenbach will be the starter. I don't think that Turner or Ricker have a serious chance to be the starter next year. Joel Statham is rumored to be transferring in the spring. Perhaps Steffy will get healthy for the spring game. Regardless you're going to have Turner, Ricker and Steffy in '07, plus Portis. Portis will need all of his transfer year to learn the offense. I agree with your point that in a situation like that more options are better, and you hope one of those kids can step up to play QB.

The "risk" element comes into play with team chemistry. Portis is unlikely to have the kind of effect that Owens had, if for no other reason that in college the coach has total control over the players. The larger risk is that the starter struggles and Portis is lurking on the bench. The team takes sides and you have a poisoned bunch who will never match their potential. It happened in 2004 with Joel Statham. Many of his teammates had no faith in him and it really hurt that team.

It can happen in college football, esp where the QB is concerned. College players are an impressionable bunch and unless your team has established leaders that can be a disaster. Best case scenario is that Portis wins the job and plays well. If that doesn't happen I think there will be problems.

My guess at this point is that it is more likely that Portis will not finish his career at Maryland than he will turn into an all-star. I'm not saying this was a horrible decision, but there is some risk to it.

Thanks for the comments!

Moe Greene said...

It was my understanding that a Division I player could only transfer to another Division I school once. Am I incorrect?

Either way, I see what you're saying. In a perfect (Terps) world, Portis will be come the QB is was supposed to be coming out of high school.

Did you see another player (Sklyer Thronton - RB) is trasnferring from Florida?

Esquire said...

I think you are correct about the transfer rules. If Portis were to leave Maryland it would be for a I-AA program more than likely.

I did see that headline about Thorton. Not sure what is going on down there. Meyer is not the panecea that Gator fans thought he was going to be when they dumped Ron Zook. Meyer is still trying to make the program into his image so it's not surprising that a few kids would hit the road. Portis is surprising due to the fact that he followed Meyer from Utah, though he never signed a letter of intent with the Utes.